Iran’s Ministry of Defense announced its plan to overhaul and manufacture up to 800 battle tanks as a part of its plan to boost the country’s defensive power.
Tasnim news agency reported on July 18th that the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) will receive between 700 to 800 domestically-built battle tanks, including Karrar (Striker). It also continued that Iran manufactures between 50 and 60 battle tanks every year to answer the army and IRGC’s demand.
A little over a year ago, in March 2017, Iran unveiled a new indigenous battle tank of amphibious mobility, called the Karrar (Striker). It was to be inducted into the country’s arsenal.
The Defense Minister back then, Hossein Dehqan, as quoted by PressTV, claimed that the battle tank is comparable to the most state-of-the-art battle tanks in the world due to its impressive features. It has exquisite firepower, endurance, mobility and precision. Dehqan also went into detail, describing that among the battle tank’s features are its electro-optical fire control system, laser-aided distance measurement capability, and the capability to strike either moving or fixed targets in both nighttime and daytime. The fire power has been enhanced with a ballistics computer, laser-guided targeting and there are two parallel gunsights, thus allowing for both the gunner and the military commander to aim the projectiles.
Sputnik News reports that, back in March 2017, despite resemblance to the T-90, the Karrar is no match to the Russian war vehicle. Retired Maj. Gen. Vladimir Bogatyrev, chair of the Board of the Russian National Association of Retired Military Officers was quoted by Sputnik as saying “There is no decades-long tradition of tanks-manufacturing in Iran. So, there can be no breakthrough technologies. I’m not sure that the Karrar is close to the T-90 in certain points, from its armor to some specific features.” He, however also praised Iran’s defense industry for its capabilities: “The production of tanks and anti-aircraft systems is well-developed in Iran. They are also trying to develop other types of weapons. In the terms of the defense industry, Iran should not be underestimated.”
The Former Minister was also quoted by PressTV as saying “Updating armored equipment is one of the most essential strategies applied by the Defense Ministry in the area of ground warfare.”
As reported by PressTV, Iran has, in recent years, made major breakthroughs in regard to its defense sector and has reached self-sufficiency in producing its own equipment and armored vehicles.
The Persian country claims that its military poses no threat to any other country and it is only for deterrence and defense.
However, the Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said that Iran would give a “crushing response” to any act of aggression towards the country. He was quoted by PressTV saying “We advise the Islamic establishment’s enemies to respect national sovereignty and the dignity and will of the Iranians, because our proud nation has proved throughout history that it is not an aggressor but will severely punish aggressors.”
Hatami further praised the defense industry as being one of the world’s leaders and that the weapons and vehicles manufactured in the country have indigenous capabilities that are suitable for the geographical conditions of the region and are based on the requirements of the Armed Forces.
According to Global Fire Power, Iran currently ranks 13 out of 136 ranked countries in the annual Global Fire Power review. It possesses 1,650 Tanks, 2,2215 Armored Vehicles, 440 units of Self-Propelled Artillery, 2,188 units of Towed Artillery and 1,533 Rocket Projectors. In terms of ground army strength, Iran is ranked 15th in the Global Fire Power review, ranking after Egypt (5th), Syria (6th), India (7th), Israel (8th) and Pakistan (13th) in terms of its closer neighbors.